Value Added

Eight years ago, when I left ministry and began job-hunting, someone told me that an organization will find a candidate considerably more appealing if s/he:

  • can identify and solve a problem the organization has

  • find ways to cut costs and/or save money for the organization

  • bring in more business

The concept is referred to as "value-adding".


It's easy to confuse what you value with what you care about. A value does not change due to circumstances, while what concerns you is tied to the situation. For example, when someone is speeding, you care about safety or if someone coughs at the store, you care about your health. As good as safety and health are, they are not values.


Nir Eyal writes that "...values are more forward-thinking than simply reactions to the immediate moment. They are attributes of the person you want to be. For example, kindness is one of my values. Every day, I will try to embody that attribute. And if I’m kind to people, then I know I’m living according to my value of kindness. Money, on the other hand, is not one of my values. Rather, money is a thing I value, and there are many ways to get it. One way is doing a job and getting paid for it. Another way is mugging a guy who’s wearing an expensive watch. Only one of those methods is compatible with my value of kindness."


Here’s a simple test: If someone can take it away from you, then it’s not one of your values.
                                                         Source:  Nir Eyal 

If these lazy, hazy days of August afford you a little more time for reflective pondering, why not think about (or better, write down) your top five values and ask if your actions align with these.


Here's a hint: what, if anything is on your refrigerator or car bumper and why did you put it there?


Speaking of car bumpers... A woman was furious that the driver in front of her did not make the yellow light. She began to honk the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.


As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.


He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday-School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally… I assumed you had stolen the car.”


If you would like some help discerning or articulating your values, give me a holler: daniel@alivenwell.net or go to Best Life Now.